ASHEBORO N.C. – Randolph County Public Health has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Randolph County.
In a press release this afternoon RCPH says they have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the county and they say that individual, who will remain un-identified due to patient privacy, is currently isolated at home.
“At this time, the risk of monkeypox transmission remains low,” said Tara Aker, Randolph County health director. “Our Health Department’s Communicable Disease team is monitoring the situation closely and is working closely with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to respond.”
As of today (Aug 8th 2022), the CDC reports there are 7,510 confirmed cases in the United States, with 95 cases in North Carolina.
Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Monkeypox can look like some sexually transmitted infections or chicken pox. Most infections last two to four weeks.
Testing is available, and officials say it is encouraged if you have experienced close contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, or have unexplained bumps, sores, blisters or pimples which look like monkeypox. Contact your healthcare provider to arrange for testing, if needed.
The health department says vaccines are available to protect against monkeypox or to reduce disease severity, however due to limited vaccine supply, eligibility criteria prioritize individuals with known or suspected exposure to monkeypox
Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, and Gay or bisexual men or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
a) Having multiple sex partners or anonymous sex
b) Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
c) Receiving medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP).
While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current U.S. outbreak, many of the cases are in men who have sex with men. If you have an unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until a medical provider has evaluated you.
How to protect yourself
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following practices to protect yourself from monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
To learn more about monkeypox, go to the CDC’s website or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services website.